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Lake County, FL Office of Elevate Lake
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Reopen Lake County

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A Public Health Plan for Community and Business Pandemic Recovery

Reopen Lake is Lake County’s framework for restoring economic stability with special consideration to public health on our path to social normalcy and pandemic resilience. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has been a rapidly evolving event, this page functions as a living document to provide the latest information available regarding our recovery plan.

Lake County, as a whole, has exercised great vigilance throughout this pandemic in adhering to guidelines to keep our case count low. This plan, along with our progress in the fight against COVID-19, is the result of collaborative efforts between Lake County government, the Florida Department of Health, medical professionals, business owners, community leaders and residents.

This is a community effort, and we encourage you to complete the form linked below to provide your feedback and/or input as we forge ahead. Additionally, if you are a provider of emergency resources or personal protection equipment complete the form to be added to our directory of available resources.


Continue to adhere to State and local guidance and CDC guidance, particularly with respect to face coverings.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
  • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
  • Strongly consider using face coverings while in public, and particularly when using mass transit.


Develop and implement appropriate policies, in accordance with Federal, State and local regulations and guidance, and informed by industry best practices, regarding:

  • Social distancing and protective equipment
  • Temperature checks
  • Testing, isolating, and contact tracing
  • Sanitation
  • Use and disinfection of common and high-traffic areas
  • Business travel

Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.

Develop and implement policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following employee COVID+ test.

The following gating criteria must be satisfied before proceeding to phased opening.


Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period


Downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period


Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period


Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests)


Treat all patients without crisis care


Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing


  • Vulnerable individuals are strongly encouraged to stay at home. When leaving home, these individuals should follow social distancing and other general mitigation guidance. Those living with vulnerable individuals should be aware of the exposure risk that they could carry the virus back home after returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical. Vulnerable populations should affirmatively inform their employer that they are a member of the vulnerable population so that their employer can plan accordingly.
  • Stay at home unless going out for essential activities like grocery shopping, exercise, healthcare, religious worship, and caregiving.
  • All individuals should continue to maximize physical distance from others in public, particularly in enclosed environments. Avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Individuals should avoid all non-essential travel and cruises, including to U.S. states and cities outside of Florida with substantial community spread of COVID-19. Individuals coming to Florida from an area with substantial community spread, such as the New York Tri-State Area, should adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation for 14 days upon arrival in Florida.
  • A cloth face mask should be worn when going out in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with CDC Guidelines. The cloth face mask is not a substitute for social distancing. Cloth face masks should not be placed on young children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.


  • Employers and their employees should avoid non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.
  • Employers are encouraged to allow any employee who can work remotely the ability to do so.
  • Employers are encouraged to allow employed high-risk individuals, as described in section 1.1 of Lake County Resolution No. 2020-51, the ability to work from home if able; in the alternative employers are encouraged to provide flexibility with leave time to ensure such employees are protected.

Opening Protocols

  • All businesses are encouraged to follow appropriate social distancing and sanitation measures (see CDC guidance for more details). Face masks are recommended but not required unless otherwise stated (i.e., barbershops and salons). Business must also operate in accordance with County ordinances: Details
    • Occupancy for grocery stores, big box stores, pharmacies, or hardware stores shall be limited to a rate that allows for the maintenance of at least six (6) feet between patrons and employees.
    • Checkout points and staging areas, including storefronts, must be monitored for social distancing requirements by means of marking floors or similar actions to maintain six (6) feet between all persons inside the facility.
    • Appropriate signage must be posted throughout each physical location reminding patrons and employees to observe the social distancing requirements.
    • To the extent feasible, touchless hand sanitizer stations will be provided for patrons and employees at each business location.
  • Gyms and fitness centers may operate up to 50% of their building occupancy so long as they adopt safety measures including appropriate social distancing for classes and sufficient cleaning supplies to ensure, at a minimum, patrons’ individual self-cleaning of surfaces and machines using sanitation wipes following each use.
  • Bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive at least 50% of gross revenue from alcohol should continue to suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption. See Sections 1 and 2 of Florida Executive Order 20-71 for additional guidance.
  • Restaurants and food establishments may serve patrons at indoor seating so long as they limit occupancy to 50% of their seating capacity, excluding employees. The requirement for a minimum of 6 feet between parties is superseded to the extent appropriate partitioning is in place. Details
    • Parties should not exceed 10 people. Businesses should limit inside waiting areas for patrons waiting to be seated.
    • Outdoor seating with appropriate social distancing is encouraged.
    • Bar seating areas should remain closed.
    • Tents may be utilized to provide covered outdoor seating. Tents not exceeding 900 square feet may be utilized without the need for a permit. Permits will need to be applied for if larger tents are to be used. Cooking is not permitted in outdoor tents. Distance separation will be maintained.
    • To the extent practicable, single service condiments should be used; provided, however, that if full size condiments are used, containers must be cleaned after each use. Buffets, salad bars and drink stations will not be permitted.
    • Reservations are encouraged to ensure occupancy limits are not exceeded for those restaurants and bars that re-open their indoor dining facilities.
    • Delivery and curb-side pickup are encouraged in lieu of re-opening indoor dining areas when feasible.
    • Seating areas, counters, doorknobs, and bathrooms and the like will be frequently disinfected.
    • To the extent practicable, menus should be disinfected between each use. Other alternatives include use of message boards, printed disposable menus, or posting menus on a website or other electronic medium accessible from patron cell phones or other electronic devices. Comply with any other provision of this order that does not conflict with the specific terms contained in this subsection.
  • Museums and libraries may operate up to 50% of their building occupancy if permitted by local government.
  • Vacation rentals must operate within the guidelines described in Lake County’s Vacation Rental Safety Plan, as required and approved by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on May 22, 2020.
  • Personal services businesses, should adhere to Florida Executive Order 20-112 as outlined in Information for Barbershops, Cosmetology Salons, and Cosmetology Specialty Salons (FAQs): Details
    • All customers will be by appointment only.
    • Allow at least 15 minutes between the conclusion of an appointment and the beginning of the next appointment for proper disinfecting practices.
    • No group appointments are permitted.
    • Masks must be worn by all employees while performing personal services.
    • Thoroughly clean and disinfect prior to reopening. Make sure to disinfect all surfaces, tools and linens, even if they were cleaned before you originally closed. This type of cleaning should continue between each day of operation.
    • Consider providing unworn masks to clients for use during their appointment.
    • Remove all unnecessary, frequently touched items like magazines, newspapers, service menus and any other unnecessary paper products and décor from customer service areas.
  • Retail businesses should consider the following mitigation measures: Details
    • Operate at no more than 50% of building capacity.
    • Businesses are urged to provide delivery or pickup and to take orders online or by phone.
    • Post signage to direct the flow of customers within the premises to promote social distancing, as the virus is most transmissible indoors under close, sustained contact.
    • Regularly sanitize workstations and frequently touched surfaces.
    • Develop and implement policies and procedures to train employees on personal hygiene expectations, including increased frequency of hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol and, clear instruction to avoid touching hands to face.
  • Consider dedicating a certain time each day for vulnerable populations.
  • Professional sports may operate in the State of Florida and venues may host training, competitions, events and games. This provision shall preempt any local rule prohibiting a professional sports team conducting, or the operations of the venue from hosting, those sports activities at facilities in the State.
  • Amusement parks may submit a re-opening plan to the State of Florida that includes a proposed date for resumption of operations and proposed guidelines to ensure guest and staff safety. Requests to re-open must include an endorsed letter from the County Mayor or in absence of a county mayor from the City Mayor and County Administrator. This request shall identify a future date certain for re-opening and verify that the official has approved a re-open plan to ensure patron and staff safety.
  • Religious services held in churches, synagogues and houses of worship are considered essential activities rather than essential services, and as such, are not subject to the requirements or penalties set forth in Lake County Resolution 2020-33, as amended by Resolutions 2020-34 and 2020-35, which address retail establishments, essential service providers, social and recreational gatherings, and daycare facilities.

The above phases and guidelines are mandated per Governor DeSantis' Executive Order 20-123, implementing Phase I of the re-opening process. Additional guidelines have been designated by the Chairman of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and marked with this symbol location pin.


  • All persons in Florida are encouraged to follow appropriate social distancing and safety protocols issued by the CDC and OSHA.
  • Senior citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • All persons in Florida are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50 persons.
  • Individuals should avoid all travel and cruises, unless the traveling for commercial activity or for the purpose of academic work, internships, sports training and any other activity or program approved by the educational institution. This includes travel to U.S. states and cities outside of Florida with substantial community spread of COVID-19. Individuals coming to Florida from an area with substantial community spread, such as the New York Tri-State Area, should adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation for 14 days upon arrival in Florida.


  • Continue to encourage telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations.
  • Close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact or enforce moderate social distancing protocols.
  • Strongly consider special accommodations for personnel who are members of a vulnerable population.
  • All persons who work in long-term care facilities should be tested for COVID-19 on a routine basis.

Opening Protocols

  • Retail businesses may operate at full capacity.
  • Bars and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises may operate at 50% of their indoor capacity.
  • Restaurants may continue to operate for on-premises consumption of food and beverages at tables pursuant to the restrictions in Executive Order 20-139, so long as these vendors derive 50% or less of gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.
  • Entertainment businesses, including but not limited to movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, and arcades may operate at fifty (50) percent of their building capacity, with appropriate social distancing between groups and appropriate sanitation.
  • Pari-mutuel facilities may seek to operate with a written request from the County Mayor or if no mayor the County Administrator to the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the approval of the DBPR Secretary.
  • Personal services, including but not limited to tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture, tanning and massage, may operate with appropriate safety guidelines as outlined by the Department of Health.


No COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or from operating a business. This preemption is consistent with Executive Order 20-92.

Fines and Penalties

Executive Order 20-244, consistent with Executive Order 20-92, suspends the collection of fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 enforced upon individuals.


Pursuant to Chapter 252, including sections 252.36(5)(b), (g) and (h), Florida Statutes, and in order to safeguard the economic vitality of this state, any restaurant may operate as set forth below.

  1. Restaurants, including any establishment with a food service license, may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than fifty percent (50%) of their indoor capacity. If a restaurant is limited to less than one hundred percent (100%) of its indoor capacity, such COVID-19 emergency order must on its face satisfy the following:
    1. quantify the economic impact of each limitation or requirement on those restaurants; and
    2. explain why each limitation or requirement is necessary for public health.
  2. Nothing in this order preempts or supersedes a non-COVID-19 municipal or county order.

Local Emergency Orders

[Updated: 12/28/2020 2:52 AM]
View all Local Emergency Orders

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Cares Act Fund

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

Assistance received may be taxable income.
Applications are no longer being accepted. To check your application status, click here or call 877-927-1057.

Vulnerable Individuals

  1. Elderly
  2. Individuals with serious underlying health conditions*

*This can include individuals with high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such a therapy.

Get Tested

COVID-19 testing is available throughout Lake County. Use the Testing Site Locator to find a location near you or visit the COVID-19 resources page for a list of available sites and details.

Testing Site Locator

Lake County Emergency Management Citizens Information Line

352-253-9999 Daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Questions relating to:

  • Small business resources
  • Re-employment resources
  • COVID-19
  • Local government operations
  • County transit services
  • Veterans information